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European Stocks Edge Lower Amid Impressive French Industrial Production

European Stocks Edge Lower Amid Impressive French Industrial Production

European stock markets displayed a cautious tone on Wednesday, with investors awaiting crucial U.S. inflation data. Despite Impressive French industrial production figures, concerns lingered, impacting major indices like the DAX in Germany, the CAC 40 in France, and the FTSE 100 in the U.K.

Read more: European Shares Rebound: Healthcare and Energy Lead Gains


  • French Industrial Production Surges: November sees a 0.5% rise, surpassing expectations.
  • German Economic Struggles Persist: Sixth consecutive month of decline; construction spending to fall in 2024.
  • Global Economic Uncertainties: Eurozone inflation at 2.9%, challenging expectations of early 2024 interest rate cuts.
  • Corporate Dynamics and Market Reactions: J Sainsbury faces stock decline, while Greggs reports a 10% surge.

Impressive French Industrial Production

French industrial production exceeded expectations, rising by 0.5% in November. This positive outcome contrasted with Germany’s industrial production, which declined for the sixth consecutive month, reflecting ongoing challenges in the eurozone’s largest economy.

German Economic Struggles

Germany faces economic headwinds, with construction spending expected to fall in 2024 for the first time since the financial crisis. The DIW economic institute’s study highlights a severe crisis in the property industry, compounded by high energy prices and elevated interest rates.

Central Banks’ Divergent Paths

Market optimism at the end of the previous year, driven by expectations of early 2024 interest rate cuts, faces challenges. The Eurozone experienced a rise in inflation to 2.9% in December, casting uncertainty on the European Central Bank’s rate-cut timeline.

Global Inflation Concerns

Australian inflation declined, shifting focus to Thursday’s U.S. consumer prices. A slowdown is anticipated to prevent a sharp selloff, especially with expectations of U.S. rate cuts this year. New York Fed President John Williams‘ speech will be closely scrutinized given his influential position in the rate cut debate.

Corporate Sector Dynamics

J Sainsbury witnessed a 3.5% stock decline despite maintaining full-year profit guidance. The supermarket’s strong festive period grocery sales were offset by a 6% drop in Christmas clothing sales. In contrast, Greggs experienced a 10% stock surge, citing reduced inflation pressures and reporting robust sales.

Tech Sector Focus

The chip sector drew attention as TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, reported flat fourth-quarter revenue, exceeding expectations.

Oil Prices Rebound

Oil prices edged higher amid ongoing Middle East supply disruptions. U.S. crude futures and the Brent contract rebounded, supported by a larger-than-expected 5.2 million barrel decline in U.S. crude stockpiles, as per data from the American Petroleum Institute.


As market caution prevails, the impressive French industrial production contrasts with economic challenges in Germany. Uncertainties related to inflation, coupled with corporate sector dynamics and global economic factors, contribute to the complex landscape that investors navigate in the current market environment.


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